12 May 2021

Every week we provide specialist rehabilitation classes for people who are recovering from strokes, cancer and other life-limiting conditions.

Leslie is a familiar face at our Romford hub and goes to the gym, seated rehab classes, and plays Boccia. Les aged 63, had a stroke three years ago which left him with very little movement in his right side and very little speech. Prior to the stroke Les worked full time in a manual job and was very fit and active.  Leslie’s partner Lynn speaks about his journey.

“Les started coming to rehab classes in early 2016, by which time he could walk short distances with a stick and was beginning to be more aware and awake. His speech was still very limited and he was not happy or confident around other people. He did start to enjoy the familiarity of the instructors and other users after some weeks.

Having spoken to a couple of members of staff we decided to try the gym next. By late April/early May 2016, Les began to attend once a week and the difference was immediate. To be mobile again, albeit with his weak side strapped to the machines, was physically and psychologically a big step forward.

Over the last 15 months, Les has gained a huge amount of confidence from the relationships he has built up with staff in all areas of the YMCA. He is able to spend time there independently and the confidence spills over into all areas of his life. His speech is continuing to improve all the time.

His twice weekly visits to the gym have helped to keep the strength in the unaffected side of his body and encourage movement in the weak side. He can now walk considerable distances with a stick and has been working on some walking unaided. Although there is still very limited movement in his right arm he always comes away from the gym feeling much more positive. He plays Boccia and will be joining the team again; a very big move for him towards regaining some independence.

I don’t know what we would have done without the services of the YMCA.  It’s given him a way forward both physically and mentally. They provide support and rehabilitation which would not otherwise have been available to us and has given him, and therefore me, a quality of life we would not otherwise have achieved after his stroke.”